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NC Governor Pat McCrory and NC Department of Transportation: Give sand a chance! Support beach nourishment in Rodanthe!

This petition had 253 supporters

NCDOT is currently considering only bridge alternatives for addressing the erosion problems of north Rodanthe.  We believe this is premature and beach nourishment should be reconsidered in the light of data from the Nags Head project and the upcoming emergency nourishment project in Rodanthe.  Below are our reasons why you should give sand a chance.

Beauty.  The ribbon of sand that is the Outer Banks of North Carolina provides some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some of the most beautiful wildlife, some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  Nourishment preserves this beauty.  Let's be honest, bridges are ugly.  

Working with nature.  Nourishment maintains a beach with sand matched to that beach.  Pumping sand back onto a beach is simply using a human force to repair damage done by a natural force -- erosion.  No concrete, no steel, no permanent manmade changes to nature. 

Permanence.  It is sometimes said that beach nourishment is not a permanent solution, but that just means that the nourishment must be repeated. This is how New York, New Jersey, and Delaware maintain their beaches (along with many states and countries).

Flexibility.  Because nourishment is an ongoing solution, it can be repeated sooner or later depending on conditions.  It leaves open the possibility of better solutions 20 years down the road based on new technologies.  A bridge can always be built later if experience proves that nourishment is too costly or ineffective.  A bridge cannot be "unbuilt" later, if nourishment is shown to be better or if better alternatives emerge.  

Cost effectiveness. The proposed bridges will cost between $188 million and $236 million.  Prior estimates of nourishment costs have been in that range, and new data suggests they may be much lower.  We now have much better data about the success of sand nourishment from the Nags Head project.  There have been two major hurricanes and several major, long-lasting nor'easters, and the sand loss has been as expected. We will have even better data in a few years because USACE/NCDOT emergency nourishment for northern Rodanthe should begin this coming spring (2014).  Only with this new data will we know which option is most cost effective.  However, we estimate the present value of nourishment to be about $100 million.

Fairness and economic impact. The NCDOT Environmental Assessment acknowledges that the bridges will have substantial negative impacts on the visual and cultural characteristics of north Rodanthe. Panoramic view will be disrupted or eliminated and the historical landscape will be irrevocably changed.  These changes will have large negative effects on property values and rental rates.  For the over 100 home owners in north Rodanthe these losses could total more than $10 million (about $100,000 per homowner).  These are uncompensated losses.  Is it fair to ask a small number of people to shoulder these losses?


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